Miss Josh, a Maryland-based mare, would have been at Hollywood Park for today's $200,000 Beverly Hills Handicap, but after she won the Grade I Gamely Handicap at Hollywood in her most recent start, jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. told trainer Barclay Tagg he didn't recommend running her again over the hard grass course.
"Sure enough, soon after the race, her feet were stinging her bad," Tagg said.
If Eclipse Award voting were taken today, either Miss Josh or Foresta would be named top female turf horse. Miss Josh will make her next start in the Matchmaker Stakes at Atlantic City Race Course Wednesday night, unless the turf is soft; in that case, she may try males in the Fort McHenry Handicap at Laurel on Thursday's opening-day card.
Laurel's Saturday program will feature the second Jockey and Celebrity Dash. Jockeys and media members race on foot for about a half-furlong (110 yards).
It's funny to watch the runners break from the horses' starting gate, then see them -- well, some of them -- scurry down the turf course.
Best of all, it's for a good cause. The race is one of about 50 events across the country being held as Jockeys Across America III, the biggest fund-raising day of the year for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund. The fund was founded by Chris and Judy McCarron in 1988 and provides assistance to disabled jockeys and exercise riders who need physical therapy and/or ++ medical treatment.
A $1,000 donation is made to the MacBeth Fund by the track in the name of the race winner. The -- will be staged late in the program -- between races of the equine variety.
Eddie Delahoussaye, one of the many stars in the Southern California riding colony, a week ago became the seventh jockey to surpass $100 million for purse earnings.
The other six riders to do it -- Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay, Angel Cordero, McCarron, Jorge Velasquez and Pat Day -- have been elected to the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. Delahoussaye, a 21-year veteran, is a cinch for election in the next few years.
Robbie Davis' career as a jockey probably is over, according to his last agent, Ron Anderson.
Davis, who was traumatized by being involved in the Belmont Park spill that killed Mike Venezia in 1988, made a mildly successful comeback in California after taking about a year off to collect himself.
But, several months ago, he left abruptly for his native Idaho, where he since has bought a home.
"I haven't talked to him," said Anderson. "He wasn't much into riding anymore."
Sports Illustrated's recent Sports Poll '91 revealed this about racing:
* From five years ago, interest in racing has dropped 4 percentage points (20-16), but that is part of a downward trend for sports in general.
* Seven percent listed racing as a sport they attended last year.
* Of the 66 percent of those who said they would be willing to pay to watch a televised event, 10 percent said they would pay to see the Kentucky Derby.
In March, Tong Po became a Triple Crown candidate as soon as put an eight-length drubbing on five rivals in the Tesio Stakes at Pimlico. But the colt was sidelined by sore shins before he could make his next start.
Now, he's following the schedule trainer Leon Blusiewicz mapped for him after that disappointment. The Private Account colt has been breezing at Pimlico and will ship soon to Saratoga, where he is scheduled to run in the Jim Dandy Stakes on July 28. If all goes well, the Travers, on Aug. 17, will follow.